Manitobans support funding for pharmacists

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By Arrie Sturdivant

Submitted Article

A new survey suggests Manitobans recognize pharmacists are integral members of the healthcare team.

An online adult-only Feb. 19-25, 2016 provincial survey of 500 Manitobans by Abacus Data, for Canadian Pharmacists Association and Pharmacists Manitoba, found that Manitobans are increasingly familiar with the services pharmacists can provide. The survey highlights that the level of awareness has outpaced the level of usage of these services.

According to the survey:

44 per cent of respondents who are aware pharmacists assess and prescribe for minor ailments have never received the service from a pharmacist (19 per cent have received this service).

34 per cent of respondents who are aware pharmacists can adapt prescriptions have not used these services (11per cent have received this service).

55% per cent of respondents who recognize pharmacists provide health coaching for diabetes, asthma and smoking cessation have not utilized these services from their pharmacists (11 per cent have received this service).

In addition to Manitobans’ increasing awareness of these services, 64 per cent stated they would likely visit their pharmacist to order a lab test for regular monitoring of a current health condition.

According to the survey, Manitobans believe that pharmacist services will improve health outcomes (76 per cent) and reduce health costs (82 per cent). Seventy-one per cent of Manitobans surveyed agreed that if pharmacy services are funded in other provinces, these same services should be funded in Manitoba; however, unlike Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia and other provinces, there is no government funding for pharmacy services in Manitoba.

“I was a little bit surprised to learn that pharmacists had taken all this training and it’s not being utilized for the benefit of Manitobans,” says Sharon Malec, who quit smoking with the help of a pharmacist. “This service should be utilized to the full potential and I believe it would save a lot of lives and a lot of dollars.”

Pharmacists Manitoba is a not-for-profit, voluntary organization representing pharmacists in the province of Manitoba. Our mission is to enhance the recognition and compensation of pharmacists, to enable full use of their knowledge, skill and judgment, and to expand Manitobans’ access to health care.